Ben Simmons talked with the NBA on TNT duo of Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal on Thursday following another strong outing in the Philadelphia 76ers’ 11-97 victory over the Dallas Mavericks at Wells Fargo Center. While the spotlight was on him after recording all-around numbers of 15 points, three rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and a block, Simmons couldn’t help but also deflect credit to his fellow All-Star teammate Joel Embiid.

The Sixers are currently the top dogs in the Eastern Conference with an incredible 22-11 start, due in large part to Embiid playing at an MVP level this season. Barkley and O’Neal noted the great strides Embiid has had this campaign, something that Simmons has seen first-hand.

“I think he’s (Embiid) realizing. It takes time. He’s figuring out how dominant he can be. He came into the season in great shape. He’s been taking care of his body and he’s been giving us everything”.

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The do-it-all guard from Australia also made it clear that the Sixers intend to keep that number one seed in the much-improved Eastern Conference.

Embiid, meanwhile, was again the best player on the floor against the Mavericks, tallying a game-high 23 points, along with nine rebounds, four assists, two steals, and one block in 28 minutes. Shaq and Sir Charles have been known to put some of this generation’s best players on blast, but it’s clear they are impressed with what Embiid has done this season.

Ben Simmons, on the other hand, understands that the Sixers will go as far as Joel Embiid takes them. His stellar play as of late has also been a great sign for Doc Rivers and the rest of the crew as they look to make their mark as legitimate title contenders.